March 21, 2013 |
As the invisible bugs in hospitals get scarier and more prevalent, hospitals are finding new ways to clean. Doylestown Hospital on Tuesday unveiled its newest high-tech weapon, a machine that zaps everything in a room with ultraviolet light 25,000 times brighter than the sun's. It can penetrate the defenses of Clostridium difficile , wily bacteria that produce spores that can live for weeks and are harder to kill than typical bacteria. C. difficile causes diarrhea and kills 14,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
March 8, 2013 |
Federal officials warned this week that "nightmare bacteria" - including the deadly superbug that struck a National Institutes of Health facility two years ago - are increasingly resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, posing a growing threat to hospitals and nursing homes nationwide. "It's not often that our scientists come to me and say we have a very serious problem and we need to sound an alarm," Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news conference Tuesday.
January 22, 2013 |
The bacteria are gaining on us. That was the gist of a conference last week involving a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and six local scientists at Drexel University, discussing the state of antibiotics research, especially the shortage of new drugs as old diseases keep gaining strength. "If the bugs continue to evolve and we don't develop new compounds . . . I don't want to be dramatic about it, but more people will die," said University of Pennsylvania infectious-disease specialist Harvey Rubin.
August 9, 2012 |
Sharks or syringes, forget about it. That would totally ruin a beach vacation. But people are more placid about poo, apparently. Although a raw-sewage spill prompted authorities to ban swimming at three of the busiest beaches in Ocean City, N.J., earlier this week, sunbathers crowded back into the ocean Tuesday afternoon, after Cape May County health officials declared the currents safe. "Considering that Ocean City is seven miles long, I think it's a little bit overblown," said John Millon, 56, of Havertown, who spent Tuesday on the beach at Third Street.
July 31, 2012 |
Circumcision is in the spotlight again: A German court ruling has pitted those who support it for religious and health reasons against those who say boys should have the right to decide for themselves. Lost in the debate is a growing body of recent data showing that circumcision is helping prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa. "The evidence is overwhelming, at least in low- and middle-income countries that have important HIV epidemics," said David Cooper, director of the Kirby Institute in Sydney, Australia's biggest HIV research center.
June 26, 2012 |
When Molly Rouse-Terlevich, a Bryn Mawr mother of two, goes to clean the kitchen counter, she reaches for a spray bottle. In it is a solution of half water, half white vinegar. When she cleans the floor, same stuff. The bathroom, same stuff. She runs vinegar through the dishwasher to reduce the buildup from hard water, and adds it to especially dirty loads of laundry. And she's been at it for several years. "We use it for virtually everything except the cleaning that would require slightly more grit," she said.
May 1, 2012 |
Question: My triglyceride level was 419 and my doctor recommended that I take the drug Tricor to lower it. Since I feel fine, do I need to take it? Why is an elevated triglyceride level bad? What raises the triglycerides? Answer: Triglycerides are a part of the total cholesterol in your blood. For years, we weren't quite sure whether or not treating triglycerides made a difference in preventing heart disease. High levels over 400 usually got treated, while numbers between 200 and 400 were treated at the doctor's discretion.
November 28, 2011 |
A look into the fossil record suggests that tables may one day be turned on humanity. It probably won't happen the way it did in the original Planet of the Apes , where chimps and gorillas exploit their former exploiters. Instead, our planet could be reclaimed by a more ancient life-form - sulfur-eating bacteria. Oxygen is poison to them, so they live in shadowy places, such as the bottom of the Black Sea. But when the climate gets disturbed, they can come back with a vengeance.
October 20, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Pools of water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment at a Colorado farm's cantaloupe-packing facility were probably to blame for the deadliest outbreak of foodborne illness in 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. Government investigators found positive samples of listeria bacteria on equipment in the Jensen Farms packing facility and on fruit that had been held there. In a six-page assessment of the conditions at the farm based on investigators' visits in September, the FDA said Jensen Farms had recently purchased used equipment that was corroded, dirty and hard to clean.
September 2, 2011 |
Here's some new dietary research, if you have the stomach for it: Your choice of foods may affect the kinds of bugs that live in your intestines. In a study of 98 people and their poop, University of Pennsylvania scientists reported Thursday that a person's long-term diet is connected to what kinds of bacteria live inside the gut. The intestinal tracts of folks who typically ate a high-fat, high-protein diet tended to be dominated by one kind...